Food & Drink in Cuba

An assortment of different dishes on a dinner table in Cuba

Many travellers are pleasantly surprised at the quality and variety of food that can be found in Cuba. Beans and rice are the staples, with cucumber, tomato and cabbage, conventional ingredients for a Cuban salad. Chicken and pork are the most common meats served in Cuba, however fish and a surprising variety of delicious seafood is also very frequently on offer.

A fruit and vegetable stall in Havana

Fresh fruits and vegetables that come and go with the seasons include mouth watering mango, pineapple, papaya, guava, coconut, orange, grapefruit, breadfruit, corn, an assortment of sweet potatoes, bananas, breadfruit, and enormous avocados, as well as many other tropical fruit.

Coffee and chocolate are both produced in large quantities in Cuba and the quality of coffee is generally considered excellent, although some visitors find it too strong.

Breakfast on our tours in Cuba

A breakfast table at a private casa in Cuba
A breakfast table at a private guesthouse in Cuba

We include breakfast everyday on all of our multi-night Cuba tours. It is an especially wholesome and filling experience at the privately-owned guesthouses that we use in Cuba.

The breakfast varies from house to house, and typically includes coffee, milk, fruit juice, bread, eggs (or omelette), and fresh fruit.

Comments from our travellers about breakfasts on their tours

Staying Vegetarian in Cuba

Two different salads at a tourist guesthouse in Cuba
Salad ingredients in Cuba depend very much on the seasons

Cubans are gradually awakening to vegetarianism. Many of them are aware of its existence, however most do not understand its reasoning and the belief that to eat well means eating meat, is still firmly embedded in the nations consciousness. However, through the influence of tourism, more and more vegetarian options are to be found on restaurant menus in Cuba, and the cooks in the guesthouses are now quite accustomed to providing vegetarian meals. Therefore it is not difficult to get a vegetarian meal in Cuba, although you generally won't find much variety and you may get tired being offered the same (ie - rice, beans, omelet and salad) everyday.

A vegetarian dinner in the guesthouses in Cuba isn't much cheaper than a dinner containing meat, and the reason is that vegetables on the free market in Cuba are of similar prices to those of meat.

Keeping away from gluten in Cuba

A dinner plate with an assortment of typical Cuban food
A dish with some typical Cuban items including: Moros y Cristianos (rice and bean mix), Yuca al Ajillo (manioc with garlic), Bistec de Jamon (ham steak), Mariquitas (plantain chips), Salad: avocado/green beans/cucumber

There is little problem maintaining a strict gluten-free diet in Cuba. This is mainly because the food in Cuba is very natural (there isn't much processed food available in Cuba). This is especially true in the guesthouses where there is also the additional advantage of being able to order specific meals and give the cook instructions about what you can and cannot eat. Our tour guides are informed about gluten intolerance and to know which ingredients to instruct the cooks to avoid.

Cuban Drinks

A barman prepares a line of mojitos in a bar in Cuba
The mojito is the most famous Cuban cocktail and is very refreshing

Rum is the base ingredient for the world famous Cuban cocktails including the Daiquiri, Mojito, Ron Collins, Pina Colada, and Cubata. Excellent draught beer is available everywhere in Cuba as well as local and imported soft drinks.

Cuban Sweets & Desserts

A serving of Flan dessert at a private guesthouse in Cuba.
Homemade Flan (crème caramel) is a very traditional dessert in Cuba

There is no shortage of sweet treats and desserts in Cuba. Despite all of them being packed with sugar, almost always they are homemade with all natural ingredients. Tour guide Margarita made her own list of favourite Cuban desserts that are considered traditional in Cuba.

Cuban Street Food

Croquetas for sale at a snack bar in Cuba
Croquetas are a popular street food snack in Cuba

Cuba also has some interesting street food and snacks. We offer a tour of Havana called Havana Street Eats. On this guided day tour you can enjoy experiencing this part of Cuban culture with an English speaking guide in Havana. Some snacks included! This is one of the activities you can do as an American in Cuba to help make your trip to Cuba legal under current American laws.

Learn some Cuban Cooking

Manioc (yuca in Spanish) being prepared for cooking
Manioc (yuca in Spanish) is one of the food staples in Cuba

We also offer a Cuban cooking experience in Havana where you can learn some Cuban dishes and find out about cooking in Cuba including visiting local markets, the culinary culture in Cuba, family customs, and even how the Cubans go about negotiating prices in the different currencies.

What our travelers say about food on our tours in Cuba

More photos of Food & Drink in Cuba

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